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Albania's premier urges Serbia to recognize breakaway Kosovo


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TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister is urging Serbia to recognize Kosovo as a separate country, saying the acknowledgement would help stabilize the Balkan region.

Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that Serbia's recognition of Kosovo's independence was "the clear solution from the darkness of the tunnel to the light of coming out of it."

Rama was reacting to an op-ed article by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic published Monday. Vucic urged a lasting solution for Kosovo, a former province of Serbia which has been a source of tensions in the once war-torn Balkans.

The prime minister hailed Vucic's article and posted it on Facebook.

"I would like to share with you the good taste this public meditation from Serbia's president left to me," he wrote.

Rama also urged Kosovo and Serbia to continue European Union-mediated talks. Serbia and Kosovo are at different stages of integration into the bloc.

"There is a long road to come out of the tunnel of grave history of bloody cruelty, as the Balkan history shows, where in the last years steps not imagined by the most optimists have been undertaken," he wrote.

After coming to the post four years ago, Rama initiated a bilateral dialogue with Serbia. Relations between Serbia and Albania have been strained by the debate over Kosovo, which has a predominantly ethnic Albanian population.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Its nationhood is recognized by 114 countries, including the United States and most EU countries, but not Serbia.

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